Marching One By One

Spring’s progress this last week reminds me of that song The Ants Go Marching. Like a lot of people, I want spring to burst forth with great masses of colorful flowers. But so far, the flowers have been marching in one by one, more or less.

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I’m not really complaining. It’s normal that a few early adapters make an appearance before the great wave of blooms. Though it does seem like some years the wave never really arrives. We just go on to the next stage of the season without experiencing the prior peak. With luck that won’t be the case this year.

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A blue Tommy Crocus (C. tommasinianus).

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I think these are ‘Blue Pearl’ Crocuses – the outer part of the flower is sky blue, but the inner part is almost white.

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This is the first weekend where I’ve seen the Crocus flowers actually open up. Not coincidentally, I imagine, the first bees are also making their appearance.

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Here’s the first blooms from Tulip ‘Early Harvest’ (Tulipa kaufmanniana). So far I’ve been able to save a few from the rabbits. I do love an orange Tulip that blooms with the Crocuses.

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The Lenten Roses (Helleborus orientalis) have begun to just tentatively open their flower buds. They are running late by at least a week or two.

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They’re not opening all the way, just as they have only partially leafed out.

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The yellow/white-flowered Lenten Roses seem slower to emerge.

Some gardeners have a reputation for never being satisfied with the weather. For now I will try to contain my impatience as I wait for the bounty of spring.

42 Comments on “Marching One By One

  1. The Blue Pearl crocuses are so pretty and delicate. I’m not familiar with hellebores, but I was intrigued by the peek inside you’ve offered. The interior looks remarkably similar to the interior of our purple leatherflower (Clematis pitcheri).

    I did some scouting yesterday at a small, private haymeadow I like to frequent, and discovered green and slim milkweed already blooming, along with exactly one Physostegia intermedia, or spring obedient plant. There were pink evening primroses, blue-eyed grass, prairie nymph (Herbertia), and quite a few roughstem rosinweeds. It feels like the middle of spring here, suddenly.

    • Hellebores are also called Lenten Roses, in case youโ€™ve heard that name.

      • I hadn’t — seeing the name here was a first for me, at least that I remember. I may have come across the name before and it didn’t stick — that’s happening more often these days!

  2. Spring is racing away here, I wish I had a pause button! Love the colours of your crocus, I must plant more in the autumn. I’m now deadheading my hellebores, they are over already!

  3. Those Blue Pearl crocuses are such a lovely shade! I love Lenten Roses too but they are so expensive!! I can understand your impatience for Spring…ours is taking its time too. We still have lots of snow and are supposed to get more today. But when spring finally does come up here it seems to come all at once!

    • They are expensive, I wonder why. Though at least they spread steadily once established, so if you buy one you eventually have a lot.

  4. it is snowing in Maine today—six inches are predicted for our area. Those beautiful colors are a sight for sore eyes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Lovely spring flowers. They are all February flowers here. Your spring seems to arrive late then segue quickly into summer.

  6. Hellebores would certainly make my Top 10 of favorite flowers. Apart from daffodils and scilla, my garden is covered in blooming celandine poppies. Do I remember you had them planted beside Virginia bluebells last year?

  7. We are having above normal temperatures. I am not complaining. I hope it continues. It feels wonderful. Love seeing your bulbs beginning. The white tulips were open today. They are a little later than the red ones.

  8. Oh my goodness the Blue Pearl Crocuses are absolutely gorgeous, I do envy you those. I guess the flowers coming out one by one means you appreciate every one.(and us!)

  9. Wonderful spring flowers, Jason! I was falling in love with your crocuses but then came the hellebores… ๐Ÿ˜€
    We have the thickest snowfall of this winter raging outside, so I entertain myself listening a cute YouTube video of “The Ants Go Marching” and a less cute “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Happy gardening!

  10. A few blooms would be welcome sight around here! I’ve been walking the garden over the past few days but have yet to see any signs of bulbs emerging. Since most are relatively new to the garden, I’m not yet sure if they are technically late or not.

  11. I would suspect that the Dutch crocus that do not get enough chill to naturalize here would be much happier to do so there. However, not many are sharing pictures of Dutch crocus that have done so. Those that bloom well were planted only last year. (Well, one exception are some that bloom annually in Switzerland.) Is that an accurate observation? I have been wanting to try some of the varieties in your garden (when I can get back to gardening again), just to see if they are more tolerant of our minimal chill. My saffron crocus (which is actually something else that blooms in spring like other crocus), is the only one that has done well.

      • That is what I mean. It seems to be a common occurrence in North American this year. It is difficult to say why they have good years and bad years that do not seem to coincide with weird weather.

  12. Because of you and another blogger I learned about Hellebores. Never had heard of them, but checked the prices and got a shock! Fortunately, there were some in the local nursery with the similar hefty price, but I said..well, I ended up planting 4 of them. It was a risk, but yay, I have seen starts of them coming up this year. They are in the coldest area-that which when the snow melts, it’s the last area. Perfect! Thank you!

  13. Each and every spring bloom is so precious, I always have an eagle out for those too. Just love yours, here’s to many, many more!xxx

  14. Hello Jason, I love your spring bulbs, especially the crocuses. You say “marching” now, but as the year warms up it’s going to turn into a full-on sprint. My garden is currently at “power walk” stage and no doubt you’ll be catching us up before long.

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